Guide to the Papers of Don Aitkin

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MS 7990

National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record

Collection Summary

Creator
Aitkin, Don, 1937-
Title
Papers of Don Aitkin relating to the Country Party of New South Wales
Date Range
1919-1972
Collection Number
MS 7990
Extent
0.72 metres (5 boxes + 1 folio box)
Language of Materials
English
Repository
National Library of Australia

Introduction

Scope and Contents

Original papers together with Aitkin's notes concerning activities of the Country Party of New South Wales, particularly in New England region. The papers include minutes of Progressive, Country and United Country Parties, New South Wales, 1919-1938; United Country Movement, minutes, 1931-1938; Political Committee and Free Selector's Association minutes, 1915-1916; General Secretary Central Executive Council reports, 1929-1930; Australian Country Party Association minutes, 1926-1943, 1945-1960; Annual Conference papers, 1927-1962; Central Council and Central Executive minutes, 1928-1968; lists of office bearers, 1920-1962; Federal and State Electorate Councils minutes and financial statements, 1927-1962; and minutes, financial statements, and correspondence mostly about activities of Gunnedah Branch. Other papers include election material; broadcasts; press releases; papers relating to the New England New State Movement; Country Party of Australia (Federal) surveys, 1971-1972; Federal Council minutes, 1954; and Australian Farmers' Federal Organisation minutes, 1926-1930.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is available for reference.

Conditions Governing Use

Copying and publishing of unpublished manuscript material is subject to copyright restrictions. For such material, written permission to publish must be obtained from the copyright holder(s). Copying of unpublished material for research purposes is permissible 50 years after the death of the creator of the material.

Preferred Citation

Items from this collection should be cited as '[Title or description of manuscript item], Papers of Don Aitkin, National Library of Australia, MS 7990, [series/file number]'.

Provenance

In February 1986 the National Library of Australia received, as a donation, papers used by Don Aitkin in his research on the Country Party of New South Wales. The material had been made available to Aitkin whilst a doctoral student and post-doctoral fellow at the Australian National University in Canberra, during the 1960s, providing some of the background to his PhD thesis and its published revision The Country Party in New South Wales : a study of organisation and survival.

Arrangement

In sorting the material, Aitkin's groupings of documents were retained where appropriate. In the instances where no definite order was apparent material has been filed by administrative or topical groupings. Aitkin's often detailed notes are located with the subject matter they describe.

Biographical Note

DateEvent
1937Born in Sydney, NSW
1960-1961Master of Arts in history, University of New England
1962-1964PhD, Australian National University
1965Australian National University Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Nuffield College, Oxford University
1965-1968Research Fellow, Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University
1968-1971Senior Research Fellow, Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University
1971-1979Foundation Professor of Politics, School of Historical, Philosophical and Political Studies, Macquarie University
1980-1988Professor of Political Science and Head of Department, Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University
1986-1988Chairman, Australian Research Grants Committee
1989-1990Chairman, Australian Research Council and Full-Time Executive Member, National Board of Employment, Education and Training
1991-Vice-Chancellor, University of Canberra
1994-Vice President, Australian Vice-Chancellors Committee
DateEvent
1937Born in Sydney, NSW
1960-1961Master of Arts in history, University of New England
1962-1964PhD, Australian National University
1965Australian National University Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Nuffield College, Oxford University
1965-1968Research Fellow, Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University
1968-1971Senior Research Fellow, Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University
1971-1979Foundation Professor of Politics, School of Historical, Philosophical and Political Studies, Macquarie University
1980-1988Professor of Political Science and Head of Department, Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University
1986-1988Chairman, Australian Research Grants Committee
1989-1990Chairman, Australian Research Council and Full-Time Executive Member, National Board of Employment, Education and Training
1991-Vice-Chancellor, University of Canberra
1994-Vice President, Australian Vice-Chancellors Committee

Item Descriptions

Series 1. Country Party of Australia (Federal) surveys, 1971-1972

In 1971 J.D. Anthony, the Leader of the Federal Country Party, commissioned a survey of Country Party members on a broad range of topical issues, covering areas such as the Country Party's role and reputation, immigration and economic conditions. Following on from the success of the first poll, a second poll was conducted in mid 1972, this time focussing on issues of national importance including the media, foreign investment and trade unionism. Documented in this series are collations of questions and results for both surveys, together with an extract pertaining to the questionnaire from Hansard.

Extract from Hansard, 10 November 1971 criticising survey; statement by Doug Anthony regarding Country Party 1971 questionnaire; Report on the Australian Country Party Questionnaire, Jan. and Aug. 1972 (File 1)

Series 2. Country Party of New South Wales, 1919-1962

The beginnings of the Country Party of New South Wales can be traced to the establishment in 1875 of the Free Selector's Association, a movement formed to represent the common interests of farmers in the State. After undergoing further consolidations and changes of title, the name of Progressive Party was adopted in 1919, with a charter to represent a broad base of small farmers, large graziers as well as metropolitan members. Corresponding to several changes in Party organisation and alliance, it was renamed the Country Party of New South Wales in 1925, United Country Party of New South Wales in 1931, assuming the title of the Australian Country Party (New South Wales) in 1943. Between 1922-1925 and 1932-1958 Colonel Bruxner led the Party under its various guises, exerting a dominant influence over policy and activities. This series includes the typed minutes of meetings convened in the Party's formative years. References to other aspects of the State level of the Party are made in Series 4, Series 6 and Series 10.

Minute books (in binder). Progressive Party of New South Wales, 13 Oct. 1919-30 Aug. 1923, 20 Sept. 1923-9 Dec. 1924; Country Party of New South Wales, 4 Feb. 1925-24 Sept. 1931; and United Country Party of New South Wales, 22 Oct. 1931-5 May 1938. (File 1)

Aitkin's notes (in binder). United Country Movement. Western Division minutes 1931-1938; Australian Country Party (NSW). Annual Conference minutes, 1927-1928, 1930-1931, 1938-1939, 1941, 1943-1951, 1953-1955, 1957-1962; Free Selector's Association. Political Committee minutes, 1915-1916; Australian Country Party (NSW); Central Council minutes, 1922; General Secretary to Central Executive Council reports, 1929-1930; United Country Movement minutes, 1932-1933; Australian Country Party Association minutes, 1926-1943, 1945-1960; Central Executive minutes, 1928-1953. (File 2)

The Progressive Party of New South Wales : its origin and history, 1924; Australian Country Party (NSW). Constitution and Rules, 1960. (File 3)

Series 3. Annual Conferences, 1940-1963

State Conferences of the Australian Country Party have been convened annually over many years, with representatives from all Councils and Branches being eligible to attend. It is only at the Conference level that any alteration to the Party's Constitution can be endorsed; the meeting also constructs broad policy and determines Party platforms. While Conferences determine general Party objectives, successful Parliamentary candidates are not bound by Conference directives. Other material relating to Annual Conferences can be found in Series 2.

Annual Conference agendas, 1949, 1951, 1954, 1960-1962 (File 1)

Also miscellaneous documents including: summary of resolutions and amendments to Constitution and Rules, 1954; Murray Electorate Council motion re the cost of living; Uniform Taxation Committee Report to Country Party Conference, 1962; address by Charles Cutler, John Fuller to 1962 Conference; list of office bearers, 1962-1963.

Summaries of Colonel Bruxner's addresses to Annual Conferences of the Grazier's Association, 1940 and Australian Country Party (NSW), 1944-1945, 1947, 1949-1957 (File 2)

Series 4. Central Council and Central Executive of the Country Party of New South Wales, 1928-1968

The main decision-making body of the Party, the Central Council draws its membership from the chairs of each of the Federal and State Electorate Councils. Although it is unable to change the Constitution and must share some authority with subordinate bodies, the Central Council retains final power over all other aspects of Party activity. To ease the Council's workload, an annual election is made of members to the Central Executive, to join with leaders of the State and Federal Parliamentary Parties, who are granted automatic membership. Routine administrative activities are delegated to the Executive by the Council, the Executive reporting, in turn, to the General Secretary of the Party, located at Head Office in Sydney. Included in this series are a number of Council circulars, minutes and some comments by Aitkin on office bearers. Other documents concerning Central Council and Central Executive business are filed in Series 2.

Minute books (in binder). Central Executive and Central Council of Country Party of New South Wales, 1928-1956, including discussion of possible Liberal-Country Party amalgamation; Australian Farmers' Federal Organisation, 1926-1930; Aitkin's notes on Central Executive minutes, 1956-1968. (Item 1-2)

Printed lists and Aitkin's notes relating to Central Council and Central Executive office bearers, 1920-1962 (Item 3)

Miscellaneous unbound papers (Item 4)

Includes Country Party of New South Wales Central Executive minutes, 5 Sept. 1928; financial statements, 1944-1946; balances standing to the credit of Federal and state Electoral Councils, 1945; joint statement by Ritchie and Page, Leaders of the Liberal and Country Parties on common policy; notes for Torchbearers; Ulrich Ellis report on Albury-Corowa by-election, ca. 1946; list of field organisers, 1946; report on bank order subscribers, 1946; press statement by J.J. Dedman, Minister for Post-War Reconstruction; notes on bank nationalisation; Federal Council minutes, 1954; statement by Page, Chairman, Australian Country Party, 1956.

Series 5. Electorate Council, 1928-1962

Positioned above branch level, Electorate Councils represent the second stage in the Party organisation, with separate Councils being established for each of the Federal and State electorates in a particular region. Electorate Council delegates are drawn from all branches in the electorate, together with office bearers from the geographically corresponding Federal or State Electorate Council. Effectively, it is at the Electorate Council level that local area decision-making takes place, with each Council maintaining control over election and referenda activity in its jurisdiction. Resolutions received from branch level may be rejected by Council although, apart from candidate endorsement, its powers may be delegated back to branches or to other councils. Included in this series are minutes and financial records of various Federal and State Electorate Councils in New South Wales. Other documentation related to Electorate Council activity is located in Series 3, Series 4, Series 6 and Series 7.

Aitkin's notes on Electorate Council minutes and correspondence (in binder). (Item 1)

. For the districts of: Calare, 1958-1961; Hume, 1948-1961; Lyne, 1958-1961; Mitchell, 1948-1955; Peterson, 1950-1961; Richmond, 1943-1961; Armidale, 1927-1956; Burrinjuck, 1950-1960; Byron, 1937-1961; Casino, 1946-1961; Gloucester, including Raymond Terrace Branch, 1956-1962; Lismore, 1951-1961; Orange, 1950-1960; Oxley, 1945-1961; Raleigh, 1953-1961; Temora, 1927-1960; Tenterfield, 1935-1962; Upper Hunter, 1939-1961; Yass, 1941-1950; Young, 1946-1961.

Finance distribution State and Federal Electorates, 1948; Federal Electorate Council, list of officials, July 1955 and F.L. O'Keefe (CP candidate) itinerary; lists of State and Federal Electorate Council officials, 1958 and Branch officials. (Item 2)

For the electoral districts of: Albury, Armidale, Barwon, Bathurst, Burrinjuck, Byron, Casino, Castlereagh, Clarence, Cobar, Dubbo, Gloucester, Gosford, Goulburn, Hartley, Hawkesbury, Illawarra, Lismore, Liverpool Plains, Maitland, Monaro, Mudgee, Murray, Murrumbidgee, Nepean, Orange (incl. 1955), Oxley, Raleigh, South Coast, Sturt, Tamworth, Temora, Tenterfield, Upper Hunter, Wagga, Wollondilly, Young.

Armidale State Electorate, 1955-1956 (Item 3)

Bank orders and cash subscriptions for the Branches of: Armidale, Black Mountain, Bundarra, Dumaresq, Ebor, Glenn Innes, Guyra, Inverell, Kentucky, Kingstown, Tenterden, Tia, Tingha, Uralla, Urbenville, Walcha, Wollomombi; 1961 bank orders and cash subscriptions together with Aitkin's statistical analyses, of member occupations for the Branches of: Armidale, Black Mountain, Bundarra, Enmore, Glen Innes, Guyra, Inverell, Kentucky, Kingstown, Tenterden, Tia, Uralla, Walcha, Wongawabinda.

Electorate Council, 1928-1962 (Item 4)

Calare Electorate Council minute book, 1945-1954 and branch list, 1958; Aitkin's notes on Calare Electorate Council minutes, 1961; Aitkin's analysis of occupations of members Lismore State Electorate, 1962; photocopy of New England Electorate minute book, 1928-1932, 1934-1937, 1939-1940, 1943, 1950-1951,1957-1960; Aitkin's notes re occupations of Country Party branch officials in New England Electorate, 1959-1961; Tamworth State Electorate, 1956 bank orders and cash subscriptions for the Branches of: Bendemeer, Duncan's Creek, Kootingal, Manilla, Nundle, Somerton, Tamworth; Tenterfield State Electorate, letter from Tenterfield Electorate Council re 1953 State election campaign; 1955 bank orders and cash subscriptions for the Branches of: Bonalbo, Deepwater, Drake, Dundee, Emmaville, Glen Innes, Legume, Mallanganee, Tabulam, Tenterfield; Aitkin's notes on occupations of members, Upper Hunter State Electorate, 1961.

Calare Federal Electorate official polling day folder, ca. 1960 (Item 5)

Includes: lists of officials, summaries of 1958 voting figures by subdivision; bank orders and cash subscriptions, 1960 for Branches of: Blayney, Bogan Gate, Burnt Yards, Canowindra, Caragabal, Carcoar-Mandurama, Coma, Cowra, Cudal, Dubbo, Eugowra, Forbes, Goolagong, Grenfell, Gunningbland, Manildra, March, Millthorpe, Molong, Mulyandry, Orange, Parkes, Quandialla, Woodstock, Yarrabandai.

Series 6. Branch records - Gunnedah, 1947-1961

The lowest level of the Party hierarchy, local branches of the Party can be formed with a minimum of ten members, who meet no less than once a year to elect office bearers. Delegates are eligible to attend State and Federal Electorate Council meetings. There is much variation in branch size, due to a dispersed population, and there are often many branches in each electorate. The major portion of the material in this series relates to the operations of the Gunnedah Branch of the Country Party of New South Wales.

Gunnedah Branch minutes, 1947, ca. 1949-1953, 1955, 1957, 1959, 1961; Gunnedah Office Management Committee minutes, 1957-1958 (File 1)

Gunnedah Branch financial records. Includes: financial statement, 1947; Bank of New South Wales passbook, 1947-1951; miscellaneous invoices; bank orders and cash subscribers, 1948, 1950, 1952; Gwydir campaign fund expenses, 1949. (File 2)

Financial records, 1951-1961. Includes accounts and financial statements. (File 3)

Bank order finance report forms, 1947-1957 (File 4)

General correspondence and circulars, 1947-1949. Includes: leaflets criticising Chifley Government employment policies, 1949; list of new Federal Electorate Divisions, 1949. (File 5)

Gunnedah Branch-Head Office correspondence and circulars, 1949; Gunnedah Branch-T.J. Treloar (MHR) correspondence, 1949; Branch correspondence re 1949 Federal Elections, Gwydir (File 6)

General correspondence and circulars, 1950-1951. Includes: liaison with Liverpool Plains and Gwydir Electorate Councils; visit by Arthur Fadden to Gunnedah during 1951 election campaign. (File 7)

General correspondence and circulars, 1952-1961. Includes: liaison with Gwydir Electorate Council; copy of letter from John McEwen re steel supply; copy of letter to Grazier's Association of New South Wales concerning plight of the primary producer; circular re enrolment of naturalised migrants into the Country Party. (File 8)

Correspondence and circulars, 1956-1961 (File 9)

. In numerical order assigned by Aitkin, includes: notes on Party organisation prior to and during a campaign; hints to booth workers and scrutineers; miscellaneous election information, including 1961 campaign budget notes re Country-Liberal Party agreement, 1949; Gunnedah Branch minutes, 3 Nov. 1950; notes on bank order system of member contributions; Fadden itinerary, 1951; Gunnedah Office Management Committee papers; Aitkin's notes on Lyne elections, 1945-1951; motion by McEwen to work with anti-socialist forces to defeat Chifley Government.

Series 7. Branch records - other, 1928-1962

Country Party Branch list, 1958; Country Party Branch survey question sheets, 1962; in exercise book: Casino Branch minutes, 1946-1947, list of members July 1947; accounts 1947-1956, incl. some receipts; Richmond Electorate Council minutes, 1934, 1937, 1940-1941 (Item 1)

Aitkin's notes on minutes and correspondence (in binder) (Item 2)

For the Branches of: Armidale, 1928-1957; Alstonville, 1952-1961; Ballina, 1956-1960; Bexhill, 1945-1960; Blacktown, 1946-1955; Bobin-Marlee, Wherrol Flat, Rollands Plains, Telegraph Point, Mt George, 1960; Bundarra, 1954-1958; Casino, 1947-1958; Coffs Harbour, 1958-1961; Cootamundra, 1952-1955; Cowra, 1953-1962; Dungog, 1957-1962; Grenfell, 1939-1961; Glen Innes, 1943-1961; Hannam Vale, 1944-1958; Inverell, 1932-1961; Kyogle, 1946-1960; Lansdowne, 1960-1961; Lismore, 1953-1961; Murwillumbah, 1931-1960; Muswellbrook, 1949-1961; Orange, 1954-1961; Oxley State Electorate list of branches, 1960; Charles Cutler Campaign Committee minutes; Scone, 1956-1961; Singleton, 1932-1961; Tamworth, 1949-1961; Taree, 1958-1961; Temora, 1931-1962; Upper Orara, 1956-1960; Yass, 1955-1962; Young, 1958-1961.

Series 8. Elections, 1951-1962

With the overriding objective of the Party focussed on the achievement of electoral success, campaign administration occupies a prominent place in organisational activity. The major portion of this series documents Party performance in a number of election campaigns during the 1950s and 1960s. Other material relating to elections can be found in Series 4, Series 5, Series 6, Series 7 and Series 9.

Election related correspondence, leaflets, circulars, forms. (Item 1)

Includes: Subdivision of Boggabri electoral roll, 1951; Subdivision of Gunnedah supplemental electoral roll, 1951; nominations for Gwydir candidature, 1954 election; Liverpool Plains election expenses, 1959, 1961; Ian Robinson, S.T. Stephens, Gordon Blair campaign letters, 1962 election; policy speech by Charles Cutler, Leader of the Country Party (NSW), 1962 election; Aitkin's statistical analysis of number of electorates won by Country Party candidates, 1914-1963.

Press cutting book documenting the 1955 Clarence by-election campaign. Includes a letter from Ulrich Ellis containing his thoughts on the election outcome. (Item 2)

Series 9. Election broadcasts, 1949-1958

In the years before television, radio broadcasts provided the major communication channel between Party and constituents at election times. This series preserves the typed and handwritten transcripts of original election broadcasts produced by the Armidale Branch of the Country Party of New South Wales.

(1 file)

Series 10. Press releases, ca.1949-1950

Arranged at Federal then State level. Topics include: coal strikes; performance of Chifley Government; perceived communist threat; bank nationalisation; butter prices; rabbit problem; New England New State Movement; wool tax

(1 file)

Series 11. New England New State Movement, 1951-1961

In 1922 Colonel Bruxner formally proposed in the Legislative Assembly the establishment of a separate state in northern New South Wales. Although receiving grass roots support, the idea was quashed by a 1923 Royal Commission which reported that such a state was neither practicable nor desirable. The conception saw a number of revivals: at the time of the 1935 Nicholas Royal Commission, appointed to identify areas within the State suitable for self-government, a boundary was delineated for a new state from the Hunter Valley north to the Queensland border, and in 1948 when support reformed under the title New England New State Movement. At first a non-political force, the movement received Country Party support, and represented a dissatisfaction with a distant New South Wales legislature which was seen to be cumbersome and inefficient. Other items pertaining to the New England New State Movement are filed in Series 10.

Leaflets and general circulars relating to the New England New State Movement include: Northern New State : case outlined in NSW State Parliament on Aug. 22, 1922 by Lieut-Col. Bruxner; Seventh State Newsletter, no. 1, Mar. 1951; draft constitution, 1953; speech delivered by J.J. Cahill in the Legislative Assembly on decentralisation, 15 Sept. 1959; summary of talk by N. Crew on economic aspects of decentralisation, 4 June 1960; notes by J.W. Every-Burns entitled The Destiny of Local Government in New South Wales; A Cheque Book of Our Own : Operation-7th State : New England, New State Movement Appeal for £100 000; campaign car sticker; campaign bulletins; campaign plan, 1961.

(1 file)

Series 12. Miscellaneous, 1938-1954

Includes 'Confidential' folio criticising E.S. Spooner's unemployment strategies; copies of letters re Unclaimed Moneys Act and Hub Pty Ltd; Tumbarumba Shire Council proposed sewerage system correspondence, 1938; stray extracts from donations ledger, ca. 1954; copies of contents pages and footnotes to M. Fletcher's The Role of the Country Party in the Formation of the Bruce-Page Government, BA (Hons) thesis, 1954.

(1 file)

Series 13. Publications, 1946-1967

Achievement : the Country-Liberal Government Reports Progress!, 1963 (Item 1)

Australian Country Party (Federal). Platform and Policy, 1958 (Item 2)

Australian Systems of Voting, 1946 (Item 3)

A Free People, no. 16, July 1949 (Item 4)

Index to the Pamphlet Collection Held at Head Office of the Australian Country Party, New South Wales Branch, ca. 1967 (Item 5)

Local Government Association of New South Wales. Annual Conference Motions and Reports to be considered..., 1949 (Item 6)

Petrol Tax, More Money for Council Roads, 1948 (Item 7)

Pre-Election Press Ban : Robbing Country Districts of Parliamentary Representation, 1949 (Item 8)

Record of Achievement, Primary Industry, 1949-1961 (Item 9)

Road Users Support Party That Will Repeal Act. Reprint from the Inverell Times, 2 February 1959 (Item 10)

Socialist-Communist Extremism, ca. 1949 (Item 11)

Why Can't We Have Better Roads?, ca. 1948 (Item 12)

Container List

Series Files Box
1 1 1
2 1-2 1
3 1-2 1
4 1-4 2
5 1 2
5 2-5 3
6 1-3 3
6 4-9 4
7 1-2 4
8 1 5
9 1 5
10 1 5
11 1 5
12 1 5
13 12 5
8 2 Folio

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